The Associated Press and The Center for Public Integrity have embarked on a “joint investigation” that has culminated in a two-part series. The first article has sparked wide-spread media attention, and has chronic pain sufferers, advocates and healthcare practitioners talking – a lot.
Here are just a few parts of the article that have people in pain and advocacy groups reacting strongly.
The makers of prescription painkillers have adopted a 50-state strategy that includes hundreds of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions to help kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids, the drugs at the heart of a crisis that has cost 165,000 Americans their lives and pushed countless more to crippling addiction.
The drugmakers vow they’re combating the addiction epidemic, but The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that they often employ a statehouse playbook of delay and defend that includes funding advocacy groups that use the veneer of independence to fight limits on their drugs, such as OxyContin, Vicodin and fentanyl, the narcotic linked to Prince’s death.
Doctors continue to prescribe opioids for ailments such as back pain and headaches, even though studies have shown weak or no evidence that the drugs are effective ways to treat routine chronic pain — and even though they come with the risk of addiction.
One of the drugmakers’ most powerful political engines is their financial support for opioid-friendly advocacy groups.
Click here to read the article, “Drugmakers fought state opioid limits amid crisis” by the AP.
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